Summit voters are confronted with three choices for Mayor on Election Day; party nominees Ellen Dickson, Eileen Forman Ludden, and independent Michael Vernotico. The traits we need for mayoral leadership are honesty, experience, compatibility, humility and performance. How do our candidates compare?
Eileen Ludden is untested, inexperienced and naïve if she thinks we can reconcile our differences with Union County by playing nicey-nice. She may be a future contender but is not ready to take on the Chief Executive role of a major City and is definitely not a polished successor to Janet Whitman, Walter Long and Jordan Glatt.
Michael Vernotico, although a seasoned pro, has personality flaws that have stifled the effectiveness of Council. He voted against the last two budgets and could jeopardize our AAA rating with his employee additions. He advocates a “kitchen cabinet” to advise him rather than an elected Council because of his inability to work effectively with others.
The best candidate is experienced, financially austere, a communicator who delivers on her promises and a champion of educational excellence and downtown progress. She is humble and conciliatory with others and is respected by our State representatives and Congressman.
An intelligent voter will cast his/her vote for Summit’s best choice: Ellen Dickson.
Summit’s Council has been effective in approving the lowest municipal and school tax increases in recent Summit history. Yet, our property owners are confronted with escalating taxes despite any reforms that may be enacted. Our disproportionate County tax burden and the City’s electric power challenges must be actively confronted at the County and State levels by a compatible and aggressive Mayor and Council.
Summit is fortunate to have six good candidates for Council with varied backgrounds. I recommend three in particular for the unique qualities they offer Summit’s governance:
Greg Drummond, an attorney and business owner, is proficient with downtown Summit, City development opportunities and is cognizant of real estate values and taxes;
Dr. Rob Rubino is a competent health expert and business executive with multiple talents and the persona to accomplish Summit’s objectives economically and effectively;
Pat Hurley, who heads corporate security for a major firm, is widely experienced in public safety, cyber security, terrorism, electrical grids, electronics and City challenges.
Ellen, Greg, Ron & Pat bring valuable skillsets to Summit and work well together.
They have my vote!
Common Council President Pro-Tem & Chair, Finance & Personnel